The Lightkeeper's Daughters

The Lightkeeper's Daughters

A Novel

Book - 2017
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Though her mind is still sharp, Elizabeth's eyes have failed. No longer able to linger over her beloved books or gaze at the paintings that move her spirit, she fills the void with music and memories of her family--a past that suddenly becomes all too present when her late father's journals are found amid the ruins of an old shipwreck. With the help of Morgan, a delinquent teenage performing community service, Elizabeth goes through the diaries, a journey through time that brings the two women closer together. Entry by entry, these unlikely friends are drawn deep into a world far removed from their own--to Porphyry Island on Lake Superior, where Elizabeth's father manned the lighthouse seventy years before. As the words on these musty pages come alive, Elizabeth and Morgan begin to realize that their fates are connected to the isolated island in ways they never dreamed. While the discovery of Morgan's connection sheds light onto her own family mysteries, the faded pages of the journals hold more questions than answers for Elizabeth, and threaten the very core of who she is.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, 2017.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780062572028
Characteristics: 311 p. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

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May 04, 2020

SO WELL DONE !!! Unusual premise with a plot that unfolds with surprising and intriguing twists and turns... right to the end of the story. Interesting characters. Could hardly put it down.

Aug 05, 2019

A fascinating read, with many twists and turns. By the end, I was still trying to figure out each character's story. A vivid memoir of life as it was for the lighthouse keepers, their love and dedication to their families and to the immense responsibility they had in keeping the ships from the shoals of the Great Lakes. Everyone should read this book. An especially good book for the summer.

Mar 29, 2019

This was such a fabulous novel. It takes place on the northern shores of Lake Superior beginning in the 1920’s. It’s a story of how a family survived the isolation of working on an island to ensure the lighthouse guided ships into the channel safely. There were a number of twists and turns throughout. I couldn’t put it down and would definitely recommend reading it.

Jan 21, 2019

Such a great book with lots of twists and turns.

VaughanPLDavidB Oct 30, 2018

This is an excellent novel set on the north shore of Lake Superior, containing a series of smart but unexpected plot turns, taking the reader, along with the characters, on a journey into the past to try to understand who Emily and Elizabeth Livingstone really are. The thing that keeps me from giving this book 5 stars is the way the author chose to reveal the crucial moment in their young lives (for me to reveal it would be a huge spoiler). I felt that the author struggled to tie the story together at that point, and so was forced to contrive a somewhat implausible situation, though by that time she was trapped by the arc of her story. I believe those who have completed the novel will understand what I'm referring to. Another small problem is the relative weakness of the supporting characters, who seem to exist only to serve as vehicles to tell Emily and Elizabeth's story, while their own stories hardly seem to matter at all.

GMA230 Oct 29, 2018

Heartbreak, secrets, acceptance, tragedy; a mutual journey of discovery all wrapped in love. Couldn’t put it down.

Oct 28, 2018

A terrific read! I loved the story and couldn't put it down. It's a story about hidden truths, connections, love, mystery, tragedy with unexpected twists and turns! And it's Canadian!! Highly recommended read!

May 09, 2018

This is another tale related by a young person (court ordered, in this case) assisting an elderly woman with limited vision by reading journals to her. As the story unfolds, both women unlock secrets to their past lives which bond them together, even as their time spent together is causing them to grow close emotionally. The description of life as the daughter of a lighthouse keeper on Porphyry Island (Lake Ontario) was delightful, and the end was a surprise twist!

Apr 19, 2018

This is a beautifully written story with lots of descriptive language and imagery. The author, Jean E. Pendziwol, is skilled with her character development and it was nice to read a book set in my own province. A young teen, Morgan, has grown up in foster care with little knowledge of her family. She is put under "restorative rehabilitation" for spray painting the property of a retirement home. She must spend this time fixing what she has done. While working at the retirement home, she meets an elderly woman, Elizabeth, and agrees to read to her from some journals written by her father as she is no longer able to see. From here, the reader moves through past and present and comes to understand that there is a connection between these two ladies. Family, specifically the love between two sisters is the prevalent theme in this story. There is a huge reveal at the finale that i was not expecting, summing up some of the unanswered questions throughout the book. The story is lovely and I recommend it to others looking for an excellent read from the Historical Fiction genre.

Mar 05, 2018

A great story backed by the beautiful Canadian landscape and the harsh elements I know so well. The characters were relatable and engaging, even the difficult ones. I would've given a slightly higher rating if the end hadn't been quite so confusing. It shouldn't be so complicated that the reader has to re-read and trying to figure things out several times. From the comments, I see I was not alone in that respect. The rest of the story was lovely though.

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Aug 05, 2019

"You know," he said, "when you paint over something, everything that was there before isn't really gone. It's still there. All the layers of color, the scrapes and dents, even the bare wood hiding beneath, they shape what's painted on top, inspire it even, but they don't define it. That's up to the painter." He looked at me with those sapphire eyes, twinkling beneath bushy white brows. "The artist."
I knew he wasn't talking about fences.

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